Old stock certificates may still have value

By: Joyce B. Siegel

“No value,” my stockbroker said to me. “You might just as well use ‘em for wallpaper. Just toss them.” He was talking about the pile of stock certificates my husband and I found more than 20 years ago when we were cleaning out my father-in-law’s house.This was just after I’d found a stash of mint condition U.S. postage stamp blocks I’d put... READ MORE

Answers to questions about Medicare

By: Kimberly Lankford

Q: I just received my first Medicare Part B bill of the year, and my monthly premium is $115.40, rather than the $96.40 that most people are paying. Why am I paying so much more than everyone else? I don’t earn enough to be hit by the high-income surcharge, and I’ve been covered by Medicare for several years. I’m 68, but I haven’t started collecting Social... READ MORE

Avoid the scams when donating to Japan

By: Beacon

Scammers wasted no time in taking advantage of the outpouring of compassion following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster. Let it be a warning for charity-minded individuals to be on the lookout for phony aid appeals.One fraudulent scheme involves an e-mail claiming to be from the British Red Cross that asks recipients to make Japan aid donations via wire transfer, said FBI... READ MORE

Should you invest in potential high-flyers?

By: Dave Carpenter

Stocks that rocket out of nowhere are a dangerous temptation for the average investor.If only you could catch the next Netflix, Apple or Google before it takes off, you’d really make some serious money, right?The problem is that line of thinking mixes investing with gambling. And you shouldn’t dip into savings or jeopardize your financial security in the hope you’ll hit a... READ MORE

Is it too late to return to the stock market?

By: Mark Jewell

Investors are finally inching back into the stock market. But are they too late?While millions sought refuge in traditionally stable bonds over the past two years, they missed a more than 90 percent rally in stocks. Suddenly bonds don’t look so safe, and some of the $11 trillion that Americans have parked in mutual funds is shifting back to stocks.After putting more than $570 billion... READ MORE

Why now’s a good time to seek dividends

By: Mark Jewell

Glance at 2010 returns and it’s easy to see why mutual fund investors might be tempted to chase the stock market’s hot spots.Thinking small paid off big last year. Funds specializing in stocks of smaller companies gained an average of 23 percent, compared with 13.6 percent for large-cap funds, according to Lipper Inc.But avoiding those big stocks could mean missing out on one of ... READ MORE